A third of UK's biggest companies now committed to net-zero

Nearly a third of the UK’s FTSE100 companies have now signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign.

Thirty companies in the index have pledged to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 including AstraZeneca, Aviva, BT Group, Reckitt Benckiser, Rolls-Royce, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Vodafone, representing a total market capital of £650bn.

To be accepted into the Race to Zero, company leaders must pledge to reach net-zero by 2050, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C. Companies are also asked to publish a 5 to 10 year plan of how they will achieve their Net Zero target, as well as to sign up to Science Based Targets as a way of monitoring and assessing progress.

Pledges have doubled in the past five months in the UK, and globally, more than 2,000 companies of all sizes have joined the UNFCCC Race to Zero so far, with around a third of these British businesses from across sectors such as transport, technology and finance.

As the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow later this year nears, the Government is calling on more companies to sign-up with Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying: “Businesses wield incredible influence to drive change across society and the economy – we need to harness this power to fight climate change. UK businesses are already leading the way in cutting carbon emissions and building back greener – it is fantastic to see so many of our biggest companies already pledging to reach net-zero. But more can be done, and so today I am calling on more fantastic British companies to step up, follow suit and pledge to join the fight against climate change.”

Since his appointment in November 2020, UK Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith has written to every UK FTSE100 company, engaged directly with 77 of their chairs or CEOs with the result that British companies and investors Race to Zero pledges have increased to over 700, representing an increase of 241 per cent.

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